San Francisco has plentiful options when it comes to great suites, and there are really nice suites in all shapes and sizes. Most lists we see focus on most expensive or largest, and while we like those, we thought it might make sense to give you a few picks for great suites, the next rung down in size for those times you don’t want a house-sized suite.
Leading luxury travel advisor Stacy Small of Elite Travel International recently visited the city to scout out the best of the best for her clients who include many in Hollywood and Southern California, and below she shares her choices with us. If you are wondering why the Four Seasons is not on the list, while Small likes the hotel and the group in general, she thinks this one is due for a refurbishment.
The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco Suite
Set within a 1909 landmark building in Nob Hill, The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco is AAA Five-Diamond hotel, and perennially brings home awards from the likes of Forbes, US News and World Report, Travel + Leisure and so on. At 336 rooms, it has five suite categories, the largest being the Presidential and Ritz-Carlton suites, both just under 2,000 sq. ft.
Small says the one-bedroom suite San Francisco Suite is her favorite for customers who like the brand, are looking for a prestigious location, and want spectacular views, but at 800 sq. ft. don’t need or want a humongous suite.
“From the minute you walk in, there are spectacular views out to the bay, Transamerica Pyramid and Alcatraz. It’s not about the size, it’s about the style,” she says, noting small touches such as various hardbound books about San Francisco.
Guests also get access to the Club Lounge, with complimentary food and beverage offerings during the day, and the Club Concierge to help sort things out. The living room leads to the master bedroom through French doors, and there is an option to add a connecting King room if you want to create a 2-bedroom suite.
Parallel 37, the hotel’s restaurant offers a Chef’s Table as well as a private dining room that seats up to 20.
Fairmont Heritage Place, Ghirardelli Square
Don’t confuse this with the Fairmont San Francisco on Mason Street. Fairmont Heritage Place is a private residence club offering all the benefits of owning a vacation home, but also operates as a hotel featuring premium residences and hotel services.
There are one, two, and three-bedroom residences with contemporary urban design in a landmark building. There is a full private bath for each bedroom, The master bath has creamy stone tile floors and dark wood cabinets. The living room features dark wood floors, open loft-like ceiling, exposed original brick with contemporary sofa and chairs, slated hearth-framed fireplace and 42″ mounted LCD screen TV. The kitchen is fully equipped and contains a Sub-Zero refrigerator, Wolf appliances and built-in glass front wine refrigerator.
Located above the namesake chocolate store, a short walk to Fisherman’s Wharf, Small says the hotel is perfect for families. She likes the 2-bedroom suites for the size and residential feel. “Suite 22 is super spacious, and there were beautiful views of the Bay Bridge. It felt like it was my own town house in the middle of the city,” she says.
The 2-bedroom residences range from 1,200-1,400 sq. ft. and feature king beds in each bedroom and a queen sofa bed so you can sleep up to six.
Among the touches Small like is the living room fireplace, and hardwood floors in the kitchen and living room. There is also a communal terrace with fire pit (pictured above).
The St Regis, St. Regis Suite
The St. Regis San Francisco is a high-rise tower combining residences and a hote, adjacent to Museum of the African Diaspora and next door to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. It is close to the Moscone Convention Center as well.
There are four main suite types here (Presidential is the largest), with two St. Regis Suites, Small’s pick, located on corners of the 19th and 20th floors. She says, “It’s a great location for the museums or if you are attending a convention.” At 1,500 sq. ft., she likes the size, noting the Presidential Suite at 3,200 sq. ft. is also a good choice if you are entertaining or hosting a party.
As to the St. Regis Suite, it features a large bedroom with taupe carpeting, a 55-inch plasma-screen television, a fainting couch, leather-topped Barcelona-style bench. The king bed faces a wall with three giant windows, providing sweeping views.
There is an oversize limestone bathroom, marble vanity with double sinks, and a wall of frosted glass with two doors, one for the toilet and one for the walk-in shower with a ceiling-mounted rainfall showerhead and detachable handheld shower. The two St. Regis Suites face southeast and have views of the financial district’s skyscrapers, the San Francisco Peninsula’s hills, San Francisco Bay, and the distant ridge lines of the East Bay.
Loews San Francisco, Bridge to Bridge Terrace Suite
If you were thinking this hotel looked familiar, until last year it operated as under Mandarin Oriental. It is now serving as a flagship for Loews, which aside from The Regency in New York, is more typically known for solid upper 4-star type hotels such as Loews Santa Monica, as well as convention hotels, such as The Portofino at Universal Studios in Orlando, and once upon a time, the Loews Anatole in Dallas, now a Hilton.
Small says the Loews San Francisco had been extensively renovated when it was a Mandarin, and she says overall, Loews has a good reputation for service, which I agree, so combining the two means she is comfortable selling the hotel for customers who want luxury hotels.
The hotel’s location in the Financial District is good for business and leisure. Whereas many new high-rise hotels in skyscrapers have the hotel on the lower floor, with expensive residential real estate at the top, Loews San Francisco occupies the top 11 floors of the 48-story tower giving it excellent views
If you want a spectacular backdrop for meetings, there is 5,000 sq. ft. of meeting space on the 40th floor.
“The views are the main selling point,” says Small, who likes the Bridge To Bridge Suite, named because the views span from the Golden Gate to the Bay Bridge. At 800 sq. ft. she says, it represents a good choice for a single traveler who wants the space of a suite, but doesn’t want to so much space you misplace things. She also likes the Italian marble bathroom with large walk-in shower and deep soaking tub.